The Project Team
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Diana Coben BA, PhD, DipACE, FRSA, FHEA
Professor of Adult Numeracy, Department of Education and Professional Studies, King’s College London

Dr Diana Coben is Professor of Adult Numeracy at King’s College London, where she teaches and undertakes research, supervises doctoral students and directs the Masters in Research (MRes) in Education and Social Science.

She was Founding Chair of Adults Learning Mathematics (
ALM), an international research forum bringing together researchers and practitioners in order to promote the learning of mathematics by adults and a founder-member of the National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy (NRDC) in England.

Her research in numeracy for nursing is reflected in her publications, which include:

  • Coben, D., & Atere-Roberts, E. (2005). Calculations for Nursing and Healthcare. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Coben, D., & Hodgen, J. (2008). Assessing numeracy for nursing. Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, 28(3), 18-23.
  • FitzSimons, G. E., & Coben, D. (2009). Adult numeracy for work and life: Curriculum and teaching implications of recent research. In R. Maclean & D. Wilson (Eds.), UNESCO-UNEVOC International Handbook of Technical and Vocational Education and Training. Bridging Academic and Vocational Education (Vol. 6, pp. 2731-2745). Dordrecht: Springer.
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Carol Hall RN, RNT, PhD, BSc (Hons) Dip N, PG Dip ResM, PGDip Ad/Ed
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Nottingham

Dr Carol Hall is an Associate Professor at The University of Nottingham. Carol is the Academic lead for Child Health Nursing at Nottingham and has had an interest in safe practice in medicine administration for children for many years.

Carol’s PhD study into roles and practices in medicine administration for children led to consideration of the role the educator in supporting nursing students numeracy for safe clinical practice. Carol originally developed and led The University of Nottingham Division of Nursng ‘Maths Group’ for a number of years and supports students and teaching staff in enabling the development of clinically applied numeracy for practice.

Subsequent projects led by Carol have been funded by the Higher Education Academy and by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) in this area as well as participation in a number of other works.

Selected Publications

  • Hall C (2009) Medicines Administration for children IN Glasper, Aylott, Battrick (eds) Wessex Manual-'Developing Practical Skills for Nursing Children and Young People'. London Hodder Arnold
  • Hall C (2009) Medicines IN Mallik M Hall C and Howard D (eds) Nursing Knowledge and Practice Foundations for Decision Making 3rd Ed Edinburgh Elsevier
  • Hall C Hilton D Jones C, Cahill J, Gallagher K, Jowett C (2007) Numeracy Development within NHS Scotland and within Health-Related Education Programmes in Scotland’s Colleges and Higher Education Institutions Final Report to NES available on NES Website at http://www.nes.scot.nhs.uk/nursing/patient_safety/ (from 2007)
  • Hall C, Davies S, Jones C, McDiarmid I, Hilton D, (2005) A Study to Evaluate First Year Student Nurses Use of a National Numeracy Resource to Develop Key Skills for Nursing Practice – Final Report to The Higher Education Academy March 2005 available at http://www.health.heacademy.ac.uk/miniprojects/hall.pdf
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Meriel Hutton RN, RNT, PhD, BA, Cert Ed, Dip N
Independent Consultant and Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Department of Education and Professional Studies, King’s College London

Dr Meriel Hutton has a nursing education background and is a visiting senior research fellow in Adult Numeracy at King’s College London. Her clinical practice background is intensive care nursing and her doctoral thesis is entitled ‘The acquisition of competency in nursing mathematics’. Meriel currently heads up quality assurance of nursing and midwifery education at the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Her interest and research in numeracy for nursing is reflected in her publications, which include:

  • Hutton M. (1998) Nursing Mathematics: The Importance of Application. Nursing Standard 13:11, 35-38
  • Hutton M. (2000) Numeracy Must Become A Priority for Nurses. British Journal of Nursing 9:14, p 894
  • Hutton M. (2005) Calculations for New Prescribers. Primary Health Care 15:1, 44 – 49
  • Hutton M. & Gardner H. (2005) Paediatric Calculations. Paediatric Nursing 17:2, Supplement booklet
  • Hutton M. (2009) Essential Calculation Skills for Nurses, Midwives and Healthcare Practitioners. Open University Press, McGraw-Hill Education, Maidenhead.
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David Rowe BEd (Hons), MSc, PhD, FACSM, FRC
Reader in Exercise Science, Department of Sport, Culture and the Arts, University of Strathclyde

David Rowe is a Reader in Exercise Science at the University of Strathclyde. His responsibilities include teaching undergraduate research methods and statistics, leading the departmental undergraduate Honours dissertation module, supervising PhD students and conducting research.

Although he has no background in nursing, his PhD specialisation was in the area of educational and psychological measurement, and it is this expertise that he lends to the numeracy project.

David is a founder of the journal
Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, and a past recipient of the AAHPERD Measurement and Evaluation Council Honour Award. Besides publishing original research in the area of measurement in exercise science, he has written several books and book chapters on the topic of test validity, for example as listed below.

  • Baumgartner, T., Jackson, A., Mahar, M., & Rowe, D. (2006). Measurement for evaluation in physical education and exercise science (8th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
  • Rowe, D., & Mahar, M. (2006). Construct validity. In T. Wood & W. Zhu (Eds.), Measurement theory and practice in kinesiology (pp. 9-26). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Mahar, M., & Rowe, D. (2002). Construct validity in physical activity research. In G. Welk (Ed.), Physical activity assessments for health-related research (pp. 51-72). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Rowe, D. (1997). Exploring the Road not Taken: Construct validation in motor learning research. In T. M. Wood (Ed.), Exploring the kaleidoscope: Proceedings of the 8th Measurement and Evaluation Symposium (pp. 34-45). Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, OR.
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Mike Sabin RGN, BSc (Hons), MSc, PG Cert
Programme Director, NHS Education for Scotland

Mike Sabin is a Programme Director at NHS Education for Scotland, and is currently on secondment as Nursing Officer, CNO Directorate at Scottish Government.

His clinical nursing background in critical care and experience in practice development and as a lecturer on pre-registration nursing programmes has led to a long-standing interest in healthcare numeracy and related approaches to learning, teaching and assessment.

Mike’s involvement in this field resulted in a number of strands of numeracy-related work commissioned by NES including this benchmarking project.
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Keith Weeks RN, RNT, PhD, BSc (Hons), BEd, Dip N., FHEA
Reader in Health Professional Education, Faculty of Health, Sport & Science, University of Glamorgan

Dr Keith W. Weeks is Reader in Health Professional Education at the Faculty of Health, Sport & Science, University of Glamorgan.

Keith has over 30 years experience in clinical nursing and nursing education practice. He is a science and education graduate and his PhD focused on the design and evaluation of authentic computer-based environments for facilitating the learning and diagnostic assessment of medication dosage calculation skills. His post-doctorate research and development programme within this domain has focused on both extending this work and acting as Research & Design Director of Authentic World Ltd. He directs and supervises a range of PhD studentships and teaches masters level research and biological sciences applied to nursing and advanced healthcare practice.

Selected publications reflecting his primary area of research and PhD supervision domains:

  • Weeks KW (2007) No more ‘chalk and talk’: teaching drug calculations for the real world. Saferhealthcare, NPSA & BMJ Online Publication Group: http://www.authenticworld.co.uk/downloads/press/saferhealthcare.pdf
  • Weeks KW & Lowes L (2006) Researching your own clients/students (pp.133-147) in (Lyne P & Allan D) The reality of nursing research. Routledge Falmer, Oxford
  • Weeks KW, Lyne P, Moseley L, Torrance C (2001) The strive for clinical effectiveness in medication dosage calculation problem solving skills: the role of constructivist learning theory in the design of a computer based ‘Authentic World’ learning environment. Clinical Effectiveness in Nursing, 5, 18-25
  • Weeks KW, Lyne P, Torrance C (2000) Written drug dosage errors made by students: the threat to clinical effectiveness and the need for a new approach. Clinical Effectiveness in Nursing, 4, 20-29
  • Weeks KW (2000) Setting a foundation for the development of medication dosage calculation skills amongst novice nursing students: The role of constructivist learning theories and a computer based learning environment. UWCM Nursing, Health and Social Care Research Unit Discussion Paper (ISBN: 1 903847 036), UWCM, Cardiff
  • Head K, Weeks KW & Stroud A (2007) A survey of dysphagia screening practices across England & Wales. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation; September 2007, Vol 14, No. 9
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Norman Woolley RN, RNT, MSc, MN, Dip N, PGCE
Head of Learning & Teaching, Faculty of Health, Sport & Science, University of Glamorgan

Norman Woolley has been a nurse educator since 1989 and is currently Head of Learning & Teaching at the Faculty of Health, Sport & Science at the University of Glamorgan.

Norman is a nursing and computing masters graduate. He has 30 years experience in the healthcare sector and 15 years software design and development experience in both institutional and commercial environments. His research and development interests since joining nurse education have focused on the application of information and communication technologies to support learning and assessment. Within this field, he has also worked as Learning & Teaching Consultant to the Higher Education Academy Health Sciences and Practice Subject Centre. Over the last decade, the primary focus of his research and development interests has been in the area of numeracy and problem solving related to medication dosage calculations.

Norman is CEO and Technical Director of Authentic World Ltd – a spin-out company of Glamorgan and Cardiff universities specialising in the design and development of innovative software solutions for reducing medication error and improving patient safety.

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